Les Miles is Likable Due to the Art of the Scribe

One of the tests of a good writer is to compel you to sympathize with an unlikable character.

I haven't forgotten that stare since first seeing the movie over 30 years ago.

That was the genius of Anthony Burgess in his incredible novel A Clockwork Orange. The novel’s ‘anti-hero’, a thug named Alex, was thoroughly despicable. He and his ‘droogs’ would pal around, drink drug coctails, and go on a rampage, implementing their ‘ultra-violence’ indiscriminantly on innocent victims.

In the first 30 minutes of Stanley Kubrick’s film version, Alex and his deeds were so horrible, it was difficult to watch. But you had to, because Burgess/Kubrick were going to make you sympathize with him, and yes, even like him.

After undergoing the state-sponsored behavior modification method called the Ludovico Technique, quite nightmarish in itself, Alex is changed so drastically that he becomes defenseless to a variety of external stimuli. The reader/viewer is left totally sympathetic to the character.



Enter Les Miles, head coach of the LSU Tigers who are invading the Lion’s Den that is Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday to defend their number one ranking against the host Crimson Tide.

If you still don't like him after reading Wright Thompson's piece, you will at least admire him greatly.

Practically all fans of all SEC schools not named LSU have, at one time or another, mocked, ridiculed, or simply disregarded Coach Miles as, at the very least, an average coach at best. If it’s not his famous eposides of bad clock management, it’s his personna that can come across as arrogant, flippant, or downright kooky-stupid.

ESPN senior writer Wright Thompson has written a feature article called The Les You Know: LSU Coach Les Miles Juggles Family and Football in the Shadow of the Alabama Showdown.

First of all, it is first-class sports feature writing. Secondly, Mr. Thompson has pulled a Burgess/Kubrick. If you are even the most ardent hater of the Tigers and their head coach, there is no way on this green earth that you can’t come away from this article as an admirer of Coach Miles.

You might even come to like The Mad Hatter.

For the first time, I really do. A lot.


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7 responses to “Les Miles is Likable Due to the Art of the Scribe”

  1. Bryant Denny says :

    I agree – it’s a good article. He’s insulted Bama a time or two, but I’ve never really dislike him, though. I think he’s fairly genuine and good for the conference.

    But with that said, I was also a Nick Saban fan while he was at LSU. I don’t meant to say he made me pull for the Tigers, but I enjoyed how he coached and, in particular, how he interacted with the media. This was long before I thought he would coach at Bama. 🙂

    I also like Dooley and Richt, but for the most part, I don’t care for the other SEC coaches.

    Have a good one,


  2. rockytop78 says :

    This is an absolutely brilliant little article; and I confess that I never would have thought to consider “A Clockwork Orange” as a template for viewing Les Miles as a coach.

    I also remember seeing “A Clockwork Orange” at the University Center Auditorium back in the day, when I was on the UT Film Committee; an amazing — albeit disturbing — film (Kubrick was a stone cold genius), and it made me a fan of Malcolm McDowell (I made a point of seeing him in “O Lucky Man” and “If . . .” after that).

    • Bryant Denny says :

      If that picture is any indication, I don’t want to be anywhere near that film. 🙂

  3. TK says :

    hey are we reviewing movies now or what? i thought we predicted football games…….wheres the MTSU write up………im ready with a score

  4. orangebobber says :

    We may get a win tomorrow. Or should I say we better. This Vandy game ahead may be taking the players minds off this one but I predict a win. UT 31 MTSU 17

  5. orangebobber says :

    Predict a win tomorrow UT31 MTSU 17

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